Hog Awards 1946-2017

The Hog Award, named for the big Hog John Hannah, is given annually to the top offensive guard in the land. I tend to give roughly equal consideration to both pass protection and push in the run game, though I do give a bit of a preference to run blocking for older players. I try to take the context of linemates into account, as I believe it can be easier for a guard to excel if his center and tackle are quality players. A running back who consistently hits the right hole at the right time, a fullback in the backfield giving a guard the confidence to move on to the second level after an initial whiff, and a quarterback who gets rid of the ball quickly are also fairly important to take into consideration. Obviously, trying to disentangle every interconnected piece of the puzzle is a fruitless task, so I try to do my best with the knowledge that the method cannot reach perfection. More than anything, a player’s individual contributions are what get him the award.

Hog Award Winners

The table below lists every Hog Award winner since 1946. Read it thus: In 1946, playing in the NFL, Riley Matheson of the Rams won his first Hog Award.

1946NFLRiley MathesonLos Angeles Rams1
1946AAFCBruno BanducciSan Francisco 49ers1
1947NFLBuster RamseyChicago Cardinals1
1947AAFCDick BarwegenNew York Yankees1
1948NFLBuster RamseyChicago Cardinals2
1948AAFCDick BarwegenBaltimore Colts2
1949NFLBuster RamseyChicago Cardinals3
1949AAFCVisco GrgichSan Francisco 49ers1
1950NFLDick BarwegenChicago Bears3
1951NFLDick BarwegenChicago Bears4
1952NFLBill FischerChicago Cardinals1
1953NFLDick StanfelDetroit Lions1
1954NFLBruno BanducciSan Francisco 49ers2
1955NFLDuane PutnamLos Angeles Rams1
1956NFLStan JonesChicago Bears1
1957NFLDuane PutnamLos Angeles Rams2
1958NFLDick StanfelWashington2
1959NFLStan JonesChicago Bears2
1960NFLJim Ray SmithCleveland Browns1
1960AFLBob MischakNew York Titans1
1961NFLFuzzy ThurstonGreen Bay Packers1
1961AFLBob MischakNew York Titans2
1962NFLJim ParkerBaltimore Colts1
1962AFLRon MixSan Diego Chargers1
1963NFLJim ParkerBaltimore Colts2
1963AFLBilly ShawBuffalo Bills1
1964NFLJim ParkerBaltimore Colts3
1964AFLBilly ShawBuffalo Bills2
1965NFLJim ParkerBaltimore Colts4
1965AFLBilly ShawBuffalo Bills3
1966NFLJerry KramerGreen Bay Packers1
1966AFLBilly ShawBuffalo Bills4
1967NFLGene HickersonCleveland Browns1
1967AFLWalt SweeneySan Diego Chargers1
1968NFLGene HickersonCleveland Browns2
1968AFLWalt SweeneySan Diego Chargers2
1969NFLJohn NilandDallas Cowboys1
1969AFLGene UpshawOakland Raiders1
1970NFLGale GillinghamGreen Bay Packers1
1971NFLLarry LittleMiami Dolphins1
1972NFLLarry LittleMiami Dolphins2
1973NFLLarry LittleMiami Dolphins3
1974NFLGale GillinghamGreen Bay Packers2
1975NFLJoe DeLamielleureBuffalo Bills1
1976NFLJohn HannahNew England Patriots1
1977NFLGene UpshawOakland Raiders2
1978NFLJohn HannahNew England Patriots2
1979NFLJohn HannahNew England Patriots3
1980NFLJohn HannahNew England Patriots4
1981NFLJohn HannahNew England Patriots5
1982NFLDoug WilkersonSan Diego Chargers1
1983NFLJohn HannahNew England Patriots6
1984NFLRuss GrimmWashington1
1985NFLRuss GrimmWashington2
1986NFLDennis HarrahLos Angeles Rams1
1987NFLMike MunchakHouston Oilers1
1988NFLBruce MatthewsHouston Oilers1
1989NFLBruce MatthewsHouston Oilers2
1990NFLBruce MatthewsHouston Oilers3
1991NFLSteve WisniewskiLos Angeles Raiders1
1992NFLRandall McDanielMinnesota Vikings1
1993NFLRandall McDanielMinnesota Vikings2
1994NFLRandall McDanielMinnesota Vikings3
1995NFLNate NewtonDallas Cowboys1
1996NFLLarry AllenDallas Cowboys1
1997NFLLarry AllenDallas Cowboys2
1998NFLRandall McDanielMinnesota Vikings4
1999NFLLarry AllenDallas Cowboys3
2000NFLLarry AllenDallas Cowboys4
2001NFLAlan FanecaPittsburgh Steelers1
2002NFLAlan FanecaPittsburgh Steelers2
2003NFLLarry AllenDallas Cowboys5
2004NFLWill ShieldsKansas City Chiefs1
2005NFLAlan FanecaPittsburgh Steelers3
2006NFLShawn AndrewsPhiladelphia Eagles1
2007NFLChris SneeNew York Giants1
2008NFLLogan MankinsNew England Patriots1
2009NFLJahri EvansNew Orleans Saints1
2010NFLCarl NicksNew Orleans Saints1
2011NFLEvan MathisPhiladelphia Eagles1
2012NFLEvan MathisPhiladelphia Eagles2
2013NFLJosh SittonGreen Bay Packers1
2014NFLMarshal YandaBaltimore Ravens1
2015NFLJosh SittonGreen Bay Packers2
2016NFLMarshal YandaBaltimore Ravens2
2017NFLDavid DeCastroPittsburgh Steelers1

Some thoughts.

Hannah is the greatest guard of all time. He earned six of his namesake awards, and he was on the shortlist for three more. His combination of power, balance, aggression, and technique is unrivaled. He may be the very best offensive linemen ever to play.

Five-time winner Larry Allen picked up the reputation as the strongest man in the NFL. I don’t know if he really was, but he sure played like he was. After growing pains as a rookie, he morphed into one of the most physically intimidating men in the game.

The Guardian Awards are named after Jim Parker, who was one of the best tackles in football early in his career. After switching to guard, the gargantuan blocker became the gold standard at the position until Hannah came into his own. Parker won four Hog Awards, to go along with his two Guardian Awards.

Billy Shaw doesn’t get much credit nowadays, largely because his career began and ended entirely in the inferior AFL. However, the AFL had plenty of great players, especially along the defensive line. Shaw blocked them with aplomb and received four Hog Awards for his efforts.

Dick Barwegen is another four-time winner. He began his career facing lesser competition in the AAFC, but he proved himself in the stronger league, picking up two of his trophies playing for the Bears.

Randall McDaniel is the last of the four-timer group. McDaniel was a hulking figure who could drive linemen off the ball, but he was also about as fast as his running backs and could often be seen running with them down field to completely eclipse overmatched defensive backs.